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February 21, 2013

Manchester's DPW chief stepping down

MANCHESTER — After accepting a job offer in the private sector, the town’s Department of Public Works director, Steven Kenney has handed in his resignation to Manchester officials, effective in mid March.

Kenney’s tendering of his resignation at the end of last week effectively gives town officials 30 days notice.

While Kenney declined to disclose who he’ll be working for, he confirmed the job will be out of state and said he will be doing similar work, but the new position will allow more room for advancement.

Kenney, who previously served as DPW director in Hamilton for 11 years, started on the job in Manchester in 2007. Manchester’s tax collector and treasurer, Jennifer Yaskell, confirmed Kenney’s starting salary was approximately $99,500 and his ending annual salary is $112,575.

Interim Town Administrator Wayne Melville said Kenney’s shoes will be tough ones to fill.

He was unsure if any current DPW staff member would be able to serve as an interim director in Kenney’s departure, as certain licenses and qualifications are needed for the position.

Melville said there are many different factors to the job, from managing budgets to ensuring the town is in compliance with state Department of Environmental Protection standards, all while carrying extensive knowledge of sewer and waste water treatment. He also noted the department’s staff size has been consolidated; there were about 27 staff members about 10 years ago, Melville said. Now there are 22.

This is not the first time Kenney has announced his resignation with plans to go elsewhere. In November of 2010, he was considering taking a job in North Carolina. However, during the time when he was set to step down, the job market crashed in North Carolina and Kenney said the figures he initially received for his retirement plan were incorrect.

Melville also said the pickings for a new director were to be slim at that time, citing the need for someone experienced in public departments as well as the proper licenses that Kenney has.

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